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Spirit of Youth


Published 1938


Based (loosely) on the life of Joe Louis. Except that Louis never lost a professional fight (until after this movie was made, at least).

Head of the Production Code office Joseph Breen warned that the film might not get played in the South because it depicted a black man (Joe Louis) defeating several white men in boxing matches.


Run time 65 minutes
Producer Lew Golder
Production Company Globe Pictures Corp.
Audio/Visual mono, black & white
Language English

Credits

From IMDb:

Directed by
Harry L. Fraser (as Harry Fraser)

Writing credits
Arthur Hoerl (original screenplay)

Cast (in credits order) verified as complete

Joe Louis ... Joe Thomas
Clarence Muse ... Frankie Walburn
Edna Mae Harris ... Mary Bowdin
Mae Turner ... Flora Bailey
Cleo Desmond ... Nora Thomas
Mantan Moreland ... Creighton 'Crickie' Fitzgibbons
Jewel Smith ... Duke Emerald
Tom Southern ... Dr. Bowdin
Jess Lee Brooks ... Jeff Thomas (as Jesse Lee Brooks)
Marguerite Whitten ... Eleanor Thomas (as Margaret Whitten)
Clarence Brooks ... Speedy
The Plantation Chior ... Themselves
The Creole Chorus ... Themselves
The Big Apple Dancers ... Themselves
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lennie Bluett ... Dancer (uncredited)
Stanley Blystone ... Storage and Transfer Co. Boss (uncredited)
Mildred Boyd ... Chorus Girl / Dancer (uncredited)
Willie Callahan ... Boxing Opponent (uncredited)
Noble 'Kid' Chissel ... Reporter (uncredited)
Lester Dorr ... Bob - Newspaper Columnist (uncredited)
Joel Fluellen ... Kitchen Worker (uncredited)
Mildred Gover ... Friend of Mrs. Thomas (uncredited)
Alfred Grant ... Waiter (uncredited)
Kit Guard ... Barfly (uncredited)
Seal Harris ... Sparring Partner (uncredited)
Bob Kortman ... Tommy Bright (uncredited)
Pat McKee ... Referee James Murphy (uncredited)
Tommie Moore ... Nightclub Extra (uncredited)
Janette O'Dell ... Mary Bowdin as a Child (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Ring Announcer (uncredited)
Anthony Scott ... Joe Thomas as a Chld (uncredited)


Produced by
Lew Golder .... producer
Edward Shanberg .... associate producer

Original Music by
Elliot Carpenter
Clarence Muse

Cinematography by
Robert E. Cline (photography) (as Robert Cline)

Film Editing by
Carl Pierson

Art Direction by
Frank Paul Sylos (as F. Paul Sylos)

Production Management
Mack V. Wright .... production manager (as Mack Wright)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gordon Griffith .... assistant director

Sound Department
Ferrol Redd .... sound recording engineer (as Farrell Redd)

Music Department
Lee Zahler .... conductor

Other crew
Julian Black .... technical advisor
Clarence Muse .... supervisor
John Roxborough .... technical advisor

Reviews

Reviewer: picfixer - - December 28, 2011
Subject: Early blacksploitation (of a sort)
This is a formula yarn about a young boxer being corrupted by early success. It stars heavy-weight champ and non-actor Joe Louis, with Mantan Moreland and other worthy black performers in support. Moreland is fine, as always, but Joe Louis really looks like he wants to be somewhere else. The production values are okay, and there is a nightclub scene with a fun dance routine. Made to take advantage of the Joe's fame after he became the undisputed champion, it's unfortunate that it's brought down by his obvious discomfort with being on camera. This is a two-star film that gets three stars because it is worth seeing for a variety of reasons including historical interest.
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